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OKLAHOMA STATE FOOTBALL

Gunnar Gundy on throwing first OSU touchdowns: 'I've always imagined myself doing that'

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NCAA Football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oklahoma State (copy)

Oklahoma State’s Gunnar Gundy throws during the third quarter of the Cowboys’ 63-7 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater on Saturday. Gundy threw his first two career touchdown passes in the victory.

Sept. 17, 2022 video. Son of OSU head football coach talks overcoming nerves and more. Video courtesy/OSU Athletics

STILLWATER — Gunnar Gundy grew up around the Oklahoma State football program, dreaming of the day when he would throw touchdown passes at Boone Pickens Stadium.

That day arrived Saturday, when Gundy received the most significant playing time of his young career. During a blowout win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, he ran the offense effectively and threw for 128 and two touchdowns while rushing for 42 yards.

“I’ve been here for a long time and I’ve watched a lot of Cowboy football games,” Gundy said. “I’ve always imagined myself doing that. For it to actually happen was surreal for me and I’ll cherish that for a long time.”

A redshirt freshman and the middle son of the head coach, Gundy hadn’t attempted a pass in a game since 2019. He helped Stillwater to state runner-up finishes as a junior and senior and sat out in 2020 before redshirting last season.

“It was fun being out there,” he said. “I enjoyed it. It’s been a long time coming.”

Before taking the field in the second quarter, Gundy received last-minute advice from starting quarterback Spencer Sanders, who has been like a mentor to Gundy and freshman Garret Rangel.

“He said, ‘Calm down and just breathe and just do you,’ basically,” Gundy said. “He’s been extremely on my side, supporting me for this long trip, and I give a lot of thanks to him for that because he’s helped me along. I want to be where he is one day and he’s really taking me in under his wing, so I appreciate him for that.”

Sept. 17, 2022 video. Gunnary Gundy had two touchdown passes in the Oklahoma State Cowboys win. Video courtesy/OSU Athletics

After an initial series in which he handed the ball off to Dominic Richardson on every play, Gundy attempted his first career pass on his second drive that resulted in a short gain by Ollie Gordon. The second pass was an incompletion and the third bounced off the intended receiver and was intercepted.

“You’re always scared of throwing an interception,” Gundy said. “It’s kind of the worst thing you can do playing quarterback. But it was good in a way because it kind of got me to the point where I was like, hey, stuff happens sometimes. You’ve just got to go back out there, recoup and keep playing.”

From there, Gundy settled in. He orchestrated a drive that featured throws to some of the up-and-coming receivers and culminated with a 16-yard catch by Talyn Shettron for a touchdown late in the first half.

“I saw one-on-one coverage and (Shettron is) a big, strong body,” Gundy said. “So I laid it up and he did the rest. … He turned around and made an awesome catch, kept his feet in, and it was really fun watching that.”

The other touchdown throw came on the first drive of the second half. Gundy connected with Stephon Johnson Jr. for 18 yards and later found his roommate Cale Cabbiness in the end zone for a 25-yard catch.

“We always talked about possibly getting some playing time together and throwing a touchdown,” Gundy said. “Having that little connection and even him scoring off it was really special for both of us, I think.”

Saturday’s game against an FCS opponent allowed all of the reserves to play, giving them valuable reps that will be beneficial down the road — especially for Gundy in future seasons when he will have a chance to compete for the starting role.

“Experience is everything, I think,” he said. “You can practice it for a long time, but actually being in the game … there’s no substitute for that.”

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I have covered college football and college basketball for the Tulsa World since 2012. I spend my spare time as an animal rescue volunteer, focusing on spaying and neutering community cats in the Tulsa area. Phone: 918-581-8452

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